Company in the news: William Hill

These are tough times for bookmakers, but William Hill is doing all the right things. Phil Oakley explains what that means for the shares.

Being a bookmaker is quite tough these days. Not only is there lots of competition, but the government is looking to clamp down on the industry. To survive and thrive in this environment you have to be good at keeping your customers happy. William Hill (LSE: WMH)looks like it is doing lots of things right.

This week's trading update revealed that the business isdoing very nicely. Sports betting boosted by the WorldCup has been very kind to William Hill.

The profits of the online business have more than doubled compared tolast year, while high-street profits rose by nearly a third. Overseas ventures in Australia and Italy are also doing well. The company now expects profits for 2014 to be at the top endof City analysts' expectations.

One of the things I like about William Hill is its ability togenerate lots of cash. As a result, net debt fell by nearly aquarter last year and we may see a nice dividend increase.I tipped the shares as a buy' back in July at 335p.

At 363p theyhave performed quite well in a difficult stockmarket. They arenot that expensive on 12 times forecast earnings, but I probablywouldn't chase them now.

Verdict: a solid hold

Recommended

Six high-yielding funds for income investors to buy now
Share tips

Six high-yielding funds for income investors to buy now

Rising interest rates are starting to make many popular income funds look less than attractive. Here, David Stevenson picks six that should weather th…
24 May 2022
Britain’s ten most-hated shares – w/e 20 May
Stocks and shares

Britain’s ten most-hated shares – w/e 20 May

Rupert Hargreaves looks at Britain's ten-most hated shares, and what short-sellers are looking right now.
23 May 2022
Britain's most-bought shares w/e 20 May
Stocks and shares

Britain's most-bought shares w/e 20 May

A look at Britain's most-bought shares in the week ending 13 May, providing an insight into how investors are thinking and where opportunities may lie…
23 May 2022
Director dealings w/e 20 May: what company insiders are buying and selling
Stocks and shares

Director dealings w/e 20 May: what company insiders are buying and selling

Directors’ share dealings can often give investors an insight into the sentiment of company insiders. Here are some of the biggest deals by company di…
23 May 2022

Most Popular

Imperial Brands has an 8.3% yield – but what’s the catch?
Share tips

Imperial Brands has an 8.3% yield – but what’s the catch?

Tobacco company Imperial Brands boasts an impressive dividend yield, and the shares look cheap. But investors should beware, says Rupert Hargreaves. H…
20 May 2022
Barry Norris: we’re already in the 1970s. Here’s how to invest
Investment strategy

Barry Norris: we’re already in the 1970s. Here’s how to invest

Merryn talks to Barry Norris of Argonaut capital about the parallels between now and the 1970s; the transition to “green” energy; and the one sector w…
19 May 2022
Share tips of the week – 20 May
Share tips

Share tips of the week – 20 May

MoneyWeek’s comprehensive guide to the best of this week’s share tips from the rest of the UK's financial pages.
20 May 2022